Schools are predictable environments. The day is structured, adults guide and mentor, pastoral systems jump into action if a young person is not coping, the calendar is visible, planned and familiar. Moving into life beyond school can be a scary time for many because this predictability and support as they know it, is suddenly removed. Conversely, just like it was when they were four years old or finishing primary school and knowing that there is an exciting new change ahead, our children suddenly seem to find their current environment ‘just the same old’ and they begin to feel anticipation for their new future. For Year 13s, in my experience, this begins to happen about August as exams feel closer, formals are done and dusted, the musical has finished, and winter sports are drawing to a close. Sometimes I feel like the mother of a four year old again with the need to jolly them along until they start school!
For any of us, moving into a new phase can be both confronting and exciting, and it brings both positives and negatives. This is something we have experienced during the last couple of years with lockdowns, coming out of restrictions, finding opportunities and dealing with the negative consequences of the pandemic. This year, after removing the traditional Period 5 release for seniors on a Wednesday afternoon, Assistant Principal, Mrs Rachel Mortimer, has created a new programme for our year 11 and 12 students every Thursday morning during Period 1. The creation of this time in the week has been an opportunity to look at the current needs of our senior students and devise programmes accordingly. This morning it was exciting to welcome back a number of ex Kavanagh students to talk about the route they took to their current careers. We are very grateful to them for giving up time to come back and share their wisdom. Mrs Mortimer is in the process of gathering a group of ex-Kavanagh university students as well as some Dunedin entrepreneurs to be part of upcoming discussion panels. The more these conversations happen at school and at home, the braver and more secure our younger people will feel when making big decisions in year 12 and 13. Also, in the planning stages is some work on financial literacy as well as some education about drugs and alcohol in social settings using Tūturu. This is a programme Kavanagh College has become involved in, created by the NZ Drug Foundation to reduce alcohol and drug-related harm. Thank you to all those staff, particularly Mrs Mortimer, who have contributed to this important learning time on a Thursday morning.
Manuia le aso (have a good day)